Court orders Manyi to reinstate Afro Worldview workers

Owner of ANN7 and The New Age Mzwanele Manyi speaks to the media outside the High Court in Johannesburg on 7 September 2017. Manyi appeared in court today over a defamation case brought against him by entrepreneur Magdalena Wierzycka. Picture: Yeshiel Panchia

The Labour Court has ordered the workers be reinstated with immediate effect, which could be tricky since there are no jobs to go back to.

Controversial businessman Mzwanele Manyi may have to reinstate the hundreds of workers he dismissed after his Afro Worldview news channel was taken off MultiChoice last month.

The workers, through the Communication Workers’ Union took Manyi’s Infinity Media Networks that ran the now-defunct news channel, to the Labour Court.

On Thursday, the court ruled the company did not engage in the correct retrenchment consultation processes.

“The first respondent (Infinity Media Networks) is ordered to reinstate those of the second to further applicants with whom it has terminated its employment relationship with immediate effect until it has complied with a far consultation process in terms of s 189 and s 189A of the LRA,” the ruling read.

The court also ordered that Manyi’s company pay the applicants’ legal fees.

Afro Worldview shut down last month after Multichoice declined to renew its contract.

The channel’s closure came just a few weeks after Manyi’s daily newspaper, AfroVoice, formerly known as The New Age, shut down and filed for liquidation.

Both media companies previously owned by the controversial Gupta family came under scrutiny after allegations of corruption emerged against the family, which used close ties to influential political leaders to get access to state funds for years.

Manyi bought the channel and newspaper from the Gupta family last year in a deal that effectively meant he was loaning the money from the Guptas to buy their assets.

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